Bautista won the 125cc championship in 2006, and scored 85 points during his rookie season last year in the MotoGP. His 13th place finish in 2010 was respectable, but Bautista believes that he can put himself on the podium.
“It’ll be a difficult year, but I have more experience with the bike and I’m sure everything I learnt last season will help me,” said the 26-year-old Bautista. “It’s true I’ll be the only rider in the team, but I have great confidence in Suzuki because last year we did a good job of evolving the bike and we’ll continue that this year.”
Bautista was never able to climb onto the podium last year, but he did score two fifth place finishes. Bautista will be returning with the Rizla Suzuki team, where he will be the only rider in the 2011 season.
“Last year I took two fifth places, which were great, but this year I’d like to aim to fight for the podium in some races,” Bautista said. “I think if we do a good job pre-season this could be possible. As the sole rider the factory we’ll work on what I ask them to, whereas if there was another rider he could perhaps suggest a different direction.”
Bautista will get his first chance to test his speed next week at the first official MotoGP pre-season testing session at Sepang.
“I cannot wait to get back on the bike,” Bautista said. “I’m looking forward to see what the guys have achieved at the Suzuki factory and what new things we have to test at Sepang. We know this year is going to be very hard work, but I’m not afraid of that and we’re all looking forward to the challenge. The whole team worked so well at Valencia, they were all focussed on the job we have to do and I can only see that getting stronger as we become a solid unit. We are all very motivated and now we need to get on the track and show what we can do – I’m excited and very positive about 2011.”
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com